on Amos 4 :5
Over a sacrifice of thanksgiving - To the senseless metal, and the unfeeling stock and stone images, from which ye never did, and never could receive any help. Proceed yet farther, and bring free-will offerings; testify superabundant gratitude to your wooden and metallic gods, to whom ye are under such immense imaginary obligations! Proclaim and publish these offerings, and set forth the perfections of the objects of your worship; and see what they can do for you, when I, Jehovah, shall send drought, and blasting, and famine, and pestilence, and the sword among you.
on Amos 4 :5
And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven - But amid this boastful service, all was self-will. In little or great, the calf-worship at Bethel, or the use of leaven in the sacrifice, they did as they willed. The prophet seems to have joined purposely the fundamental change, by which Jeroboam substituted the worship of nature for its God, and a minute alteration of the ritual, to show that one and the same temper, self-will, reigned in all, dictated all they did. The use of leaven in the things sacrificed was forbidden, out of a symbolic reason, that is, not in itself, but as representing something else. The Eastern leaven, like that used in France, consisting of what is sour, had the idea of decay and corruption connected with it. Hence, it was unfit to be offered to God. For whatever was the object of any sacrifice, whether of atonement or thanksgiving, perfection in its kind was essential to the idea of offering. Hence, it was expressly forbidden. "No meat offering, which ye shall bring unto the Lord, shall be made with leaven, for ye shall burn no leaven in an offering of the Lord made by fire" (Leviticus 2:11; add. Leviticus 6:17). At other times it is expressly commanded, that "unleavened bread" should be used. In two cases only, in which the offering was not to be burned, were offerings to be made of leavened bread:
(1) the two loaves of first-fruits at Pentecost Leviticus 23:17, and
(2) an offering with which the thank offering was accompanied, and which was to be the priest's Leviticus 7:13-14.
The special meat offering of the thank offering was to be without leaven Leviticus 7:12. To "offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven" was a direct infringement of God's appointment. It proceeded from the same frame of mind, as the breach of the greatest. Self-will was their only rule. What they willed, they kept; and what they willed, they brake. Amos bids them then go on, as they did in their willfulness, breaking God's commands of set purpose, and keeping them by accident.
Rup.: "This is a most grave mode of speaking, whereby He now saith, 'Come and do so and so, and He Himself who saith this, hateth those same deeds of theirs. He so speaketh, not as willing, but as abandoning not as inviting, but as expelling; not in exhortation but in indignation. He subjoins then, (as the case required,) 'for so ye loved.' As if He said, 'I therefore say, 'come to Bethel' where is your god, your calf, because 'so ye loved,' and hitherto ye have come. I therefore say, 'transgress,' because ye do transgress, and ye will to transgress. I say, 'come to Gilgal,' where were idols (Judges 3:19, English margin) long before Jeroboam's calves, because ye come and ye will to come. I say, 'multiply transgressions,' because ye do multiply it, and yet will to multiply it. I say, 'bring your sacrifices,' because ye offer them and ye will to offer them, to whom ye ought not. I say, 'offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven,' because ye so do, and ye will do it, leavened as ye are with 'the old leaven of malice and wickedness,' against the whole authority of the holy and spiritual law, which forbiddeth to offer in sacrifice anything leavened.
This pleaseth your gods, that ye be leavened, and without 'the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth' 1 Corinthians 5:8. To them then 'sacrifice the sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven,' because to Me ye, being sinners, cannot offer a seemly sacrifice of praise. And so doing, 'proclaim and publish the free offerings,' for so ye do, and so ye will to do, honoring the sacrifices which ye offer to your calves with the same names, whereby the authority of the law nameth those which are offered unto Me; 'burnt offerings,' and 'peace offerings;' and 'proclaim' them 'with the sound of trumpet and harp, with timbrel and dancing, with strings and organ, upon the well turned cymbals and the loud cymbals' Psalm 150:1-6, that so ye may be thought to have sung louder and stronger than the tribe of Judah or the house of David in the temple of the Lord, because ye are more.' All these things are said, not with the intention of one willing, but with the indignation of one forsaking, as in many other instances. As that which the same Lord said to His betrayer; 'what thou doest, do quickly' John 13:27. And in the Revelations we read, 'He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still' Revelation 22:11. These things, and the rest of the like sort, are not the words of one commanding, or, of His own Will, conceding, but permitting and forsaking. 'For He was not ignorant, (Wisdom saith) (Wisdom Revelation 12:10) that they were a naughty generation, and their malice was inbred, and that their cogitation never would be changed. '"
Proclaim and publish the free offerings - o: "Account much of what ye offer to God, and think that ye do great things, as though ye honored God condignly, and were under no obligation to offer such gifts. The whole is said in irony. For some there are, who appreciate magnificently the gifts and services which they offer to God, and think they have attained to great perfection, as though they made an adequate return to the divine benefits, not weighing the infinite dignity of the Divine Majesty, the incomparable greatness of the divine benefits, the frailty of their own condition and the imperfection of their service. Against whom is that which the Saviour saith, 'When ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants, we have done that which was our duty to do' Luke 17:10. Hence, David saith 'all things come of Thee, and of Thine own have we given Thee.' 1 Chronicles 19:14."
on Amos 4 :5
4:5 With leaven - As all the rest of your will - worship, so this also is against the express law, Lev 2:11. However, do so at your peril, try whether it will end in good. Proclaim - Publickly persuaded your people to voluntary sacrifices.